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VW gets green light to acquire MAN

The EU's executive Commission on Monday approved Volkswagen's acquisition of truck maker MAN, which Germany's biggest automaker eventually plans to merge with Scania.

VW gets green light to acquire MAN
Photo: DPA

“The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition… because the merged entity would continue to face strong competition from other well established manufacturers,” it said in a statement.

Volkswagen announced plans in May to towards a merger of German MAN and Scania of Sweden, in which it already owned considerable stakes, to create Europe’s top truck maker and number two bus manufacturer.

It noted anti-trust restrictions have posed hurdles for a tie-up of heavy vehicle activities from all three brands, however.

“To enable a more in-depth cooperation among MAN, Scania and Volkswagen, merger control clearance and further increase of Volkswagens holding in MAN are required,” Volkswagen said in a statement at the time.

Volkswagen raised its stake in MAN to above 30 percent, obliging it to make a mandatory share offer and seek anti-trust approval.

VW owns 45.66 percent of the shares in Scania, along with 70.94 percent of the voting rights. MAN owns another 13.35 percent of Scania’s stock.

Volkswagen said in August when requesting the European Commission’s approval for the takeover that closer cooperation between Volkswagen, MAN and Scania would allow it realise significant synergies and savings in purchases, development and production.

AFP/bk

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GREENPEACE

Two hospitalized in Munich after activist crashes parachute into Euro 2020 stadium

At least two people were hospitalised Tuesday after a Greenpeace activist crash-landed on the pitch before the Germany-France match at Euro 2020 when his powered parachute microlight struck spidercam cables at Munich's Allianz Arena.

Two hospitalized in Munich after activist crashes parachute into Euro 2020 stadium
The activist lands on the turf of the Allianz Arena. credit: dpa | Christian Charisius

The pilot flew over the pitch just before kick-off in the Group F clash with “Kick out oil” written on the canopy of his parachute.

However, when the pilot hit television cables above the pitch, it knocked his microlight off balance and he landed on the turf after clipping one of the stands, where the casualties happened.

The activist was arrested soon after landing.

A Munich police spokesman told AFP that at least two people suffered head injuries and “both had to be taken to hospital, we don’t know yet how serious the injuries are”.

The police spokesman said the activist appears to have escaped injury, but “we are considering various criminal charges. Munich police has zero understanding for political actions that put lives at risk”.

UEFA also slammed the botched stunt.

“This inconsiderate act – which could have had very serious consequences for a huge number of people attending – caused injuries to several people attending the game who are now in hospital and law authorities will take the necessary action,” European football’s governing body said in a statement.

The parachutist above the stadium. Photo: dpa | Matthias Balk

“The staging of the match was fortunately not impacted by such a reckless and dangerous action, but several people were injured nonetheless.”

The stunt was a protest against German car manufacturer Volkswagen, one of the sponsors of the European Championship, Greenpeace explained in a Twitter post.

“UEFA and its partners are fully committed to a sustainable Euro 2020 tournament and many initiatives have been implemented to offset carbon emissions,” said UEFA.

Greenpeace said they regretted any harm caused.

“This protest was never intended to disrupt the game or hurt people,” read a Twitter post on Greenpeace’s official German account.

“We hope that everyone is OK and that no one was seriously injured. Greenpeace actions are always peaceful and non-violent.”

“Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan.”

READ MORE: Climate activists rage as Germany opts for drawn-out coal exit

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